Arts & Entertainment
4 min

Cocktail Confessions

Scene & community gossip

If you’ve never believed in life after death, let me take this opportunity to sway you.

Fashion Cares has risen from the dead. In fact, attending the media launch at Brant House last week I felt like Dallas’s Pam Ewing when she woke up and found Bobby lathered up in the shower, very alive.

The event has been reincarnated as Fashion sCares, just in time for the homo high holiday Halloween. The returning faces behind the AIDS Committee of Toronto fundraiser and queer community institution — Phillip Ing, Christopher Grimson, honorary chair Jeanne Beker — and brand new asset, Kontent Publishing’s handsome Michael King, basically messaged this: We know last year’s event was mishandled in myriad ways. Come to our reinvented night and you will not, repeat, will not be disappointed.

I believe them. All the stops are being pulled out: Elton John’s man, Toronto native David Furnish hosts (will wifey come?) and more celeb cohosts will be added to the night. The woman behind the song of the summer of 2008, “I Kissed a Girl,” Katy Perry performs. So too does the Canadian chanteuse set to be our next great export, Kreesha Turner, who told me she was anxious to be a part of the event because she believes in anything that communicates that HIV/AIDS is still very much alive.

Watch for a major headliner to be announced imminently, a “dame” we were clued. My first guess was Dame Edna, but that’s since been corrected with the true boldface name. Far be it for me to gossip, but rest assured this headliner is a divine, iconic treat and a far better choice than that FC years ago when the team was trying for Diana Ross (who wanted $50,000 US and to bring her entourage, all for 20 minutes of lip- synching), but thankfully failed.

Fashion sCares takes place Sat, Nov 1 at the Metro Convention Centre. For the first time the event will be a masquerade ball, featuring a fashion show that’s haute couture meets Alfred Hitchcock. Ing himself wore a stunning black cape with a pink lace scarf and broach (a broach!) to show how easy it is to participate in an evening that’s also taking its design cues from the film Paris Is Burning. On that note, the best-costumed attendees will be plucked from the crowd to participate in a vogue-off on the runway.

Meanwhile the traditional Fashion Cares marketplace has been rescheduled as a separate event — good. Watch for Out of the Closet to be held soon after Fashion sCares which will feature donated items from celebrities from around the globe, including Elton John. This is a nice step up from Bay castoffs which, let’s admit, is pretty much what the Fashion Cares marketplace was becoming — a retail dumping ground. For tickets: or Can’t wait.

Speaking of ACT, Lori Lucier is leaving her position as executive director of the AIDS service organization this fall. Any chance of a gay man at the helm now, please? I love me some Lucier, and she knows that, but just look at the Toronto HIV stats. Here in the city it’s still a gay man’s disease. Let’s have a gay man on top for a spell. As it were.

What do Madonna, John Lennon, Tina Turner, Courtney Love, Debbie Harry and Queen all have in common? They’ve all been shot by legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen, who just visited Toronto to celebrate the first Canadian exhibit of his iconic shots at Yorkville’s Liss Gallery (140 Yorkville Ave). Rockers runs through to Thu, Oct 9, and what’s most cool about this exhibit besides the art is that it’s been set up in a teenager’s bedroom circa the 1970s — keeping the flavour of music fandom true blue.

Of photographing her Madgesty, Gruen told me that when he shot her once in her early days she was having such a bad time trying to perform a number wearing several belts that kept falling off that he really felt, “This girl isn’t going anywhere.”

Speaking of things that aren’t going anywhere this fall marks the one-year anniversary of Circa — next month, specifically. The venue that has had more drama before, during and after its inception than a year in daytime TV’s Genoa City.

And then? Nothing. At least as far as queer programming is concerned. The latest, as many club watchers now know, is that the official Pride Toronto blowout, Last Dance, a sweet success with around 2,500 people in attendance, seems to have been Circa’s last queer dance. Especially now that Fab magazine’s Rolyn Chambers, a key figure in the club’s queer focus, has left the building. Given the amount of support the queer community has given the club before and after its opening — Christ, even just schlepping over to the dreaded 905-land — what has happened to the queer programming, exactly?

I’ve asked Peter Gatien for comment several times now, to no avail. Fortunately she has sources and a little bird there tells me something is finally in the works, with details to be announced soon.

Here’s hoping that others don’t mind us ‘mos enjoying the space we helped create and support — if and when that kicks off.

So Margaret Cho, who is recording an album, like one where she actually sings, has had lots to say on the devil’s mother, would-be US vice-president Sarah Palin, aka a poor man’s Karen Walker. I leave you with these bon mots from Cho’s blog:

“Even though I would never, ever vote for Palin, I am kind of obsessed with fucking her. She is sexy and hot in a MILF/cougar way…. I want to steam up those glasses and show her what a pitbull with lipstick really needs — doggy style! Seriously. I wanna eat her Alaskan pussy from behind. Like an Eskimo. What?! I’m just trying to keep warm! Although you know that thing is frozen and my tongue would probably stick.”